Status of the Houston Real Estate Market in 2017

Despite the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey in August, Houston’s real estate market posted their best year ever in 2017. According to the Houston Association of REALTORS report for 2017, new records were set. These include an increase of single-family home sales, which were up 3.5% compared to the previous year, which itself set a record for the market. According to the Houston Association of Realtors, 94,726 units were sold over the course of the year. This added up to a total dollar volume of $23 billion, a 6.5% boost compared to the previous year.

Demographics in Houston

Houston is another market with a strong pull for millennials, many of whom are among the influx of homebuyers from across the U.S and around the world. Chalk this up to high employment, despite the initial worry of an energy sector slump. Millennials, aged 25-34 make up 14.5% of the population, higher than the 13% national average.

Average prices of housing in the Houston Real Estate Market

The median price for a single-family home has risen to $230,000, up 1.7% from the year before. At the same time, the average price of a home is actually down 0.6%, to $292,174. As inventory shrinks due to the effects of Harvey, prices for intact dwellings, including rents, are expected to spike.

Reasons for growth and outlook for 2018

Houston’s excellent performance in the market is expected to continue into 2018, although some after-effects of Hurricane Harvey will still be felt. One of the biggest is a shrinking inventory of housing, with many displaced people now struggling to rebuild and buy new homes. This has caused a big spike in home sales, with the rebound already starting only four weeks after Harvey hit, and should continue. The rental market, in particular, has become red-hot and should stay that way for some time.

Meanwhile, the economy continues to do well, allowing the area to end the year on a high note, and the situation should only get better. The prospects for employment remain high, even though Hurricane Harvey has caused an interruption in hiring. Going into 2017, one of the big worries was the energy sector slump, with the Energy Corridor a major source of employment for the area. According to the Houston Chronicle, the oil price slump cost the sector 82,000 energy-related jobs.

Despite this, prospects for employment remain high.  A survey by LinkedIn found that hiring growth in Houston was among the biggest in the country, growing 14.6 percent over the last year compared to a nationwide average of 10.4 percent. It helps that the economy is diverse, with the region’s total employment figure still high at 3 million. It’s seen as a thriving area, with more workers flocking there every day. One area also seeing a major boost, and one that’s drawing skilled professionals in is the healthcare sector. That’s due to an aging population, and with the area home to the Houston Medical Center, those drawn in will certainly invest their real estate dollars.